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Sudurpaschim Province Celebrates Bishu Festival

April 13, 2024
Bishu Festival

The Sudurpaschim Province is celebrating the Bishu festival, which marks the first day of the new year on Baisakh 1st. This unique festival involves the playful use of stinging nettles, known as Sisnu. After many people have returned home for the celebrations, a sense of calm settles back across the villages.

During Bishu, families enjoy festive foods and the tradition of wearing Sisnu. It’s believed that the nettles help release toxins that have built up in the body over the past year. Since the start of Baisakh was once a time associated with disease and hardship, wearing Sisnu is seen as a form of protection for the coming year.

A central part of Bishu is taking a morning bath and applying Sisnu to the body on the first day of Sankranti. There’s a belief that this will rid the body of any lingering toxins from the previous year and safeguard the wearer against poisonous creatures in the new year.

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Bishu is also known for playful water fights and teasing between in-laws, particularly brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. Some remote communities even have traditions of mimicking wild animals like tigers and bears, hoping to ward off attacks for the rest of the year.

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